When I was “younger” and ran PCs, I had a hobby of buying computer parts and upgrading my own computer. As lots of teenage boyw would so.
Remember the old days?
Internal serial cards, CDROM cards, SoundBlaster cards, joystick cards, cards for your Genius handheld scanner, ISA slots, CGA and then EGA and then VGA graphic cards, I/O ports, interrupts?
I can’t believe how much I paid for parts back then. For the technology compared to today, it was ridiculously expensive.
Here are two purchases that stand out for me:
First 17 inch CRT monitor
I think this was back in 1995. So the PC scene had progressed quite a bit. I remember forking out $1200 for my biggest screen at the time, a 17 inch CRT monitor. Boy was I proud of it! It was noticeably bigger than my 15 inch and made playing Doom and Quake that much more fun! No it wasn’t Trinitron or flat, the screen was quite bulbous.
Turtle Beach Multisound Classic
Looking back, this was definitely the most amount of money spent on a part. Back around 1992, I was on a family holiday in Singapore and my Dad and I saw the “new” Turtle Beach Multisound (Classic). The Board was huge and impressive. The sound was pretty amazing at the time (hey – when all I had been used to was FM synthesis in Sierra games, this was pretty nice!). It had a professional grade Proteus synth chip on board, with a whopping 2MB of sounds.
I was into music and computers, and my Dad all excited too and I don’t know why, but bought this card for us. About $1000 at the time! Ouch!!!!!
I remember tinkering away with it, doing some composing, amazed at the sounds. Unfortunately, after this, the soundcard market exploded and cheaper offerings like SoundBlaster AWE and Gravis Ultrasound came out with better game support and my honeymoon with it was over. Plus newer cases I upgraded to later on couldn’t even fit the card into it!
A few years ago I found this card in my pile of PC junk, but they don’t really put ISA slots on motherboards anymore, so I didn’t resurrect it. I don’t even know where it is today – I suspect that I might have thrown it out in the junk with a bunch of other ISA cards when we moved 😦
What’s your most ridiculously expensive PC part?
More info on the Turtle Beach Multisound here: http://alasir.com/software/multisound/